Free BSO Community Concert at Symphony Hall on October 3

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On October 3, John Williams will conduct the Boston Pops and Anne-Sophie Mutter in three arrangements for violin and orchestra from his film scores. Image courtesy of BSO

BOSTON – Starting at noon on Monday, September 27, the Boston Symphony Orchestra will begin booking free tickets for a concert on October 3 celebrating the Boston community (including the Berkshires) and the reopening of Symphony Hall to the public. Since the “Concert for Our City: Reunite at Symphony Hall” program is a morning performance, you can attend the concert and return home at dinner time. Everything you need to know about parking your car near Symphony Hall is here. (Be prepared, or risk disaster.)

People who fail to secure tickets for this event do not need to immediately resort to self-flogging, as there is a fallback method to participate: most of the concert will be available as a stream. online free BSO NOW from October 14th to November 13th at BSO NOW.

The opportunities to attend free Boston Symphony Orchestra concerts at Symphony Hall are rare, and we all hope this will be the last time it happens under these circumstances.

Andris Nelsons and the BSO will open Sunday’s show with Beethoven’s “The Consecration of the House”, op. 124, the same piece they’ll start with on September 30, Symphony Hall’s regular season opening night. This is an important work for the BSO, because it is the first piece the orchestra performed in 1881, and because it is about renewal.

BSO Youth and Family Concerts conductor Thomas Wilkins leads the movements of William Grant Still’s evocative orchestral suite Wood Notes from 1948, music inspired by poems about America’s natural beauty.

Boston Pops conductor Keith Lockhart conducts the Pops in the comedy “Ringtone Cycle” arranged by Mark Cumberland, the propellant “Dancing on Tiptoes (but never fall)” by Rachel Bruerville and an arrangement of “St. Louis Blues “by” Le Père du Blues “WC Handy.

Boston Pops-winning composer and conductor John Williams, as well as German violin virtuoso Anne-Sophie Mutter, will be in town on October 2 to perform Williams’ 2nd Violin Concerto with the BSO. On Sunday afternoon, Mr. Williams will conduct the Boston Pops and Ms. Mutter in three arrangements for violin and orchestra from his film scores. This part of the concert will not be shown on BSO NOW, because… setting up streaming programs with disparate conductors and soloists is incredibly complicated (and if I’m wrong, that just proves my point. )

Over the years, it has become apparent that Williams’ favorite thing is to perform the pieces of music that his fans want to hear the most. In that regard, he and the Boston Pops are, together, like an arena rock band: they’re there to play the hits. You never hear John Williams say, “Here is a piece of new, unplayable music that will do you some good somehow.” He says something like, “I love this piece, and I hope you like it too.”

The October 3 program ends in exhilarating style with the Finale presto of the Concerto for orchestra commissioned by BSO from Béla Bartók. The BSO plays this piece better than any orchestra in the world.

Someday you may have another opportunity to attend a free BSO concert at Symphony Hall at the end of a grueling 18-month pandemic-induced performance hiatus. But probably not.


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